Spinning Off Leading 3D Printing Company with SOLIDWORKS
TOP-DOWN DESIGN FLEXIBILITY AND SPEEDIn developing its line of 3D printers, 3D Platform employed top-down assembly, in-context, parametric design techniques, which provided the 3D printer manufacturer with greater development fl exibility and speed. Instead of beginning each new product from scratch, the company’s engineers can use SOLIDWORKS to quickly adapt existing designs. “Because all assembly design is top-down and in-context, we know where the mates and anchor points are,” Binka explains. “This method allows us to start with a driver, such as print volume, to more quickly adapt designs. “Using this approach in SOLIDWORKS, we moved from concept to prototype in about 70 days, which is one-sixth the time it would have taken with a more traditional approach,” Binka continues. “This capability allows us to take our original one by one-meter machine, the fi rst large-format 3D printer brought to market, and rapidly take it up to a four by eight-foot printer, and so on.”
3D PRINTER AS LONG AS FOOTBALL FIELD3D Platform also utilizes the simulation capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Premium software to improve 3D printer performance. Not only do 3D Platform 3D printers have the largest build area—including a 16 by 300-foot printer that’s as long as a football fi eld—they also print at a higher rate of speed, delivering faster return on investment. While conventional 3D machines’ material consumption rates top out at about two kilograms of material a day, the 3D Platform’s largest spool-fed extruder can consume more than 1 kg per hour and their pellet-fed extruders can consume more than 50 kg per hour. “The core part of our intellectual property [IP] is our extruders, which allow us to produce larger parts faster,” Schroeder stresses. “With SOLIDWORKS Premium, we can do quick deflection checks as we develop different-sized printers, so we maintain the high performance level for which we are known as we develop new products.”
EASY TO COMMUNICATE AND FIND TALENTWith SOLIDWORKS, 3D Platform can communicate more effectively internally and externally, as well as more easily attract skilled, trained design and engineering talent. “My preferred method of contact with customers and our engineering team is using SOLIDWORKS eDrawings® on my Microsoft® Surface® Pro 3 tablet,” Schoeder points out. “eDrawings is great for adding notes and sending them back to our engineers, and I like the fact that when I send them to customers or vendors, I’m not giving away any IP.” “Thanks to the large number of trained SOLIDWORKS users and the SOLIDWORKS certifi cation program, it’s easy to fi nd new people and immediately know their skill level,” Binka adds. “More designers and engineers are certifi ed in SOLIDWORKS than other CAD programs, which makes it easy when we need to add talent.”
Quickly develop a commercial-grade, large-format 3D printer to capitalize on market opportunity.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Standard, SOLIDWORKS Professional, SOLIDWORKS Premium design and analysis, SOLIDWORKS Electrical 3D design, SOLIDWORKS Electrical Schematics design, and SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional software solutions.
- Cut design cycles by more than 80 percent
- Introduced first large-format 3D printer
- Expanded access to engineering talent
- Improved 3D printer performance
Products(s) Used:SolidWorks Electrical
SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional